Okay so I haven’t blogged in the better part of six months I am the worst. Here is my attempt to catch people up with what I have been up to.
At work I am staying busy. My office is in charge of the HIV response for 50,000 or so people. We go to different villages and give community talks on: teenage pregnancy, abstinence, condomizing, nutrition, drug adherence, women’s empowerment, the importance of staying faithful to one partner… and another dozen topics. Most of these are all in Setswana and I am fairly useless but I chip in when I can and try to help with the “way forward” section where we come up with action plan.
My biggest project is trying to build 300+ latrines for a local Basarwa settlement. In a neighborhood of 3000 people there are only 4 latrines (like outhouses) and two spots to get water. Children are dying from diarrhea and communicable diseases are rampant. Cholera is going around Southern Africa and I hope to get them built before it hits my village. The story is too long to be interesting or readable but I have been working to make the project feasible for eight months now. I am super excited, we brought down the price from 3.2 million pula to about 900,000 pula and I think I am going to be able to find a funder soon.
Check out www.learningsetswana.wordpress.com . This was another of my projects. I wanted to create a way to study the local language so hopefully future volunteers are not as tragically bad at the language as I am. Other projects : I am building 10 websites for HIV stakeholders in my community, head of Safe Male Circumcision marketing for the district, trying to find money to get local orphans to preschool, trying to fund an orphan camp for all the kids in my district…. The list is growing longer and my time here is half over.
I haven’t been on a proper vacation yet but have traveled throughout Botswana. It is amazing here. I have seen leopards, giraffes, rhinos, warthogs, ostriches, wildebeests, and a billion different deer-like animals. My favorite is the dick-dick; funny name and they are like the toy poodle of antelopes. I am going to Namibia in October for Octoberfest. Polka, sausage, and the Atlantic Ocean- Pumped. My friend Adam Briggs is coming to visit in November and we will go to the game reserves and I hope to see a lion and crocodile fight to the death.
The biggest question I get is what do I miss most about America? Not being a million degrees or freezing most of the time. Movie theaters (although I did go to the capital to see batman in a theater), Mexican food, having a car/not taking Botswana busses. But I can go without for a couple of years I bet you haven’t seen a dick dick in months.
Other than that life is pretty boring here. I work from 7:30 am to 4:30. I go home and eat either a peanut butter or an egg sandwich, then watch TV or Movies on my computer till 10 when I go to bed. Most volunteers are on their 300th book I am on my 3rd. So I would like to say I will blog more but that probably won’t happen. Internet is becoming scarce and I need it to check espn.com and Facebook J Miss everyone and thanks for all the letters and packages.